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Out Now: The Anguished and the Enchanted

Published onMay 27, 2021
Out Now: The Anguished and the Enchanted

“The story behind this new translation of The Little Prince is as fascinating as the story itself. Going through some papers of his grandfather's, Bowker discovers a Finnish translation from the French. Drawing on the original and the translation, Bowker creates a hybrid version of the original, emphasizing the call of childhood within us all, freed from the responsibilities of adulthood. Not just a children's story, The Little Prince becomes an account of the often dark and destructive forces of the unconscious. Heavily annotated, the translation preserves the charm of the original, while opening it to multiple interpretations. It is simply a wonderful book, a familiar story told from a new and liberating perspective.” – C. Fred Alford, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland, College Park

“Once again, M.H. Bowker has brought his own delicate and insightful writing, this time, to the beloved and complex figure of the little man, the little prince. He re-crafts a story within the story making room for associations and puzzles, inviting the reader past and through the literalities that so dominate our current modes of writing and thinking toward more layered readings. Bowker's love for his own Finnish ancestry and his deep psychoanalytic understanding shine through the evocative interpretations he intends. Bowker's book returns us gently and persistently to the liminal spaces which de Saint-Exupery evokes — spaces of love and loss and fragility. A must read for a new encounter with the Little Prince.” – Barbara Williams, Bureau Kensington and the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute

About the Book

In The Anguished and the Enchanted, M.H. Bowker offers a lengthy critical essay and richly annotated English translation of a lost Finnish translation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. Featuring a substantial Translator’s Preface, M.H. Bowker develops a psychoanalytic lens through which to regard Saint-Exupéry’s classic work, offering a more nuanced and less "fable-esque" text than any translation and interpretation to date.

On Bowker’s reading, dark and primitive unconscious forces — including neglect and abuse at home, the hatred of maturation and development, the projection of feelings of worthlessness onto others, the creation of an absurd and futile world, and more — infest the story, not unlike the Baobab trees dreaded by the little prince.

Those already familiar with The Little Prince will find in The Anguished and the Enchanted a new way of regarding what has perhaps become a favorite or even a beloved book. Those unfamiliar with the original work will discover a sometimes tragic, sometimes sympathetic, sometimes harrowing account of the lengths to which persons will go in their struggle to find — or to escape from — meaningful places for themselves in the world of adults.

About the Author

M.H. Bowker is a professor in political science at Medaille College where he teaches courses in psychoanalytic theory, political philosophy, and more. He holds degrees from Columbia University and the University of Maryland and is the author of numerous papers and 13 published or forthcoming books, including 3 punctum titles: Ostranenie: On Shame and Knowing (2012), Escargotesque, or, What is Experience? (2015), and Misinterest: Essays, Pensées, and Dreams (2019). He edits the Psychoanalytic Political Theory book series at Routledge and serves as Editor (N. America) of the Journal of Psychosocial Studies and Associate Editor of Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society.

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